LifeisXbox’s Tour De France 2023 Review | Cycling has grown as a sport so much in terms of it’s overall popularity and people participating, whether that has to do with the pandemic stopping all team sports from going ahead that people decided to pick up a bicycle and go, I’m not sure but even my own father has started cycling. However, the main focus here is does the Tour de France official game stack up with actually going outdoors to cycle.
The main game has the whole tour and several of the smaller tours that travel in France or neighbouring countries like Belgium or the Netherlands. Tour De France 2023 also uses a stamina gauge as it’s main gameplay tool, you run out of energy and see the opponents whiz by you whilst you ‘blow up’ and gasp for air, it also utilises a sprint gauge which is useful for the ending sprints or trying to get away from the peloton or group of riders for the lay-person.
Developed by Cyanide and published by Nacon, we shall see if Tour De France 2023 goes ahead of the pack at the vital moments.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Audio is informative and engaging | The audio as a whole succeeds in Tour De France 2023, the menu songs are jazzy and don’t feel like they repeat too often. There no music played in game but there’s a very informative commentator whom gives you tactical hints and information as the race progress, yes he sounds quite monotonic, but he delivers the information you need to make the correct in race decisions. The crowd noises have been layered quite well to make it sound more authentic than just piping in one set noise.
- Difficulty is varied | The difficulty is varied in Tour De France 2023 between amateur which is quite forgiving to legend and it is clear from the start that in order to succeed tactical knowledge is vital, especially in the legend difficulty setting. The tag line ‘for those who like to suffer’ is rather apt as the stamina gauge drops significantly if you make an tactical mistake or you try and make a breakaway from the main group this mode will punish you with ruthless efficiency. You will be finding yourself gasping for air in a short space of time and find everyone passing you.
- A helpful tutorial mode | The tutorial mode is helpful in getting you adjusted into how to play the game, with how the stamina and sprint gauges work, advanced controls that will help you win a race and communication tools with your AI team mates so that you work effectively as a team.
- Varied game modes | In Tour De France 2023 there are differing ways to play and Tour De France 2023 is varied, there’s the Pro Club mode which operates as a manager mode where you buy cyclists and race them against other clubs and you can play as one of the riders you manage, naturally however the mode starts with you unable to buy any cyclists you may know, you really have to go to the bargain basement at first and work your way up, or play the full Tour De France in it’s entirety (all 21 stages). Alternatively pro career which is just you rising up the ranks as a cyclist and finally just pick up and play an individual stage/race.
- Visuals | Whilst the background visuals do not differentiate a whole lot and can make the game feel more dull, although I sympathize with the development team here because what else can you do to make the French countryside different from race to race. Maybe a solution is add in the Vuelta a Espana or the Giro de Italia so that there is a reason to be unique and creative with the backgrounds. Where the game does succeed however is when you go over cobbles or rough terrain the heads up display jolts as much as your cyclist, this impressed me and made the game feel of a higher quality. The cyclist character facial models are passable without being ultra crisp.
- Authentic gameplay with unauthentic collisions | As you will find later authentic gameplay does not make for a fun time but the focus seemed to be on making the cycling as true to life as possible with a energy bar which depletes as you go through the stages. It however has very unauthentic collisions, I have ran into people whom are on the track and gone through them like they are ghosts, I have smashed my bike into railings and the game resets instantly like there’s no harm done and I have ran into fellow riders without any penalty or risk to my own chances of winning.
What we Disliked
- Looks identical to previous editions | I will be honest, I had to do my research here and look up screenshots of previous editions of the game and I was disappointed to find that it looks pretty much identical. Normally I commentate on games on their own merits rather than comparing to previous editions (that’s why the visuals on their own is ‘somewhere in between’) but I was very surprised to see the comparisons between 2022 and 2023’s editions, it feels rather lazy to not make something new or improve on what they already have.
- Gameplay is very boring and flawed | This is the majorly negative aspect of the title is the game is incredibly boring. Whilst I don’t have an intense passion for the sport, I have watched the actual Tour De France on the TV and have a basic knowledge how the races play out and tactics and the main stars of the sport, so you could say I’m more knowledgeable than the average man and therefore should have a bigger appreciation of the gameplay. However, the races are seriously dull, I spent a lot of the time during gameplay in auto mode to save energy but that meant you don’t have to press any buttons at all. On one race it went to auto mode instantly which set you behind the wheel of the next competitor and I went and did my pot washing… seriously. The non-auto mode isn’t much better because you either run out of energy quickly or you lag behind the field. Alternatively you could skip the races completely in quick stage mode but that makes the game turn into a bad sim which is possibly even worse. I wish the developers could have found a way to make the game more engaging possibly by adding in extra features or toggled the way the game is played so auto mode isn’t a thing and non-auto mode became more usable during the races, or even make the races shorter/ complete quicker.
How long to beat the story | There is no story mode
How long to achieve 1000G | 50+ hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Descenders, previous editions of Tour De France, Trials
Tour De France 2023 is technically quite polished with decent commentary that gives great insight to the game and whilst the background visuals look samey the effect of the heads up display jolting with your cyclist when you travel over cobbles was a terrific idea and I was very impressed by that innovation, overall the game is extremely boring. You either have very long races which most of it is spent in Auto mode where you coast behind a competitor saving energy or you can skip the entire race, making a game a tedious sim (which is just as bad). Tour De France 2023 is very much for the purist cycling fanatic, those types of people whom would do a 60km cycle then go home, stick the xbox on to do another 120km cycle.
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